Now Approaching: New Pass Programs will Boost Students’ Transit Use

Anchor Partners Augsburg College and St. Paul College are joining forces with Metro Transit to encourage incoming students to use public transit.

Metro Transit is testing two transit pass programs designed to familiarize new students with public transit, and orient them to transportation options.

“Saint Paul College is a commuter campus and many of our students rely on public transportation,” noted Saint Paul College president Rassoul Dastmozd.(right)  “We are grateful to Metro Transit for this partnership; it introduces the transit option as a real value proposition.”

Metro transit will make 150 College Passes ($175 value), providing unlimited rides for a semester, available to SPC students for an introductory cost of only $20.

Augsburg will offer incoming students a Go To card package with $75 value for only $10. “Eighty percent of our incoming students live on campus,” explained Augsburg College president Paul Pribbenow. “We want to be sure that they see our great transit connections as part of the urban college experience.”

For many college students, transportation is a barrier to discovering the community that exists beyond campus,” observed Brian Lamb, Metro Transit’s director (left).  “A College Pass not only provides students with a cost-effective, convenient way to get around the Twin Cities but the opportunity to more fully participate in the community where they are being educated.”   Metro Transit is investing $33,500 in this pilot initiative. 

Each college, with assistance from Metro Transit Creative Services, will promote the pilot transit pass programs for incoming students through social media, staff and student education, and on-site transit rider education by Metro Transit and St. Paul Smart Trips.

Additional investments are coming from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative and the two colleges.  The anchor partnership hopes to learn from these pilot initiatives to develop sustainable strategies for transit promotion to students and employees. 

At the end of the semester, Augsburg and St. Paul College will survey eligible students to learn more about their interests, barriers, and incentives to using transit. Metro transit will track pass use, and complete an initial evaluation by October 15 to allow for targeted planning for the Spring 2016 semester.